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DIRECTOR'S CUT
I don't think I've ever eaten so much in my life as I did this weekend. As we all did. Emily and Martin had prepared enough food for an army and there were only 6 of us, plus 3 kids and a baby who ate very small portions, mouse portions, BEETLE portions, in comparison to what we consumed. It was ALL so good, though. For dinner there were grilled asparagus wrapped in bacon, grilled ribs, grilled pork filets, grilled beef tenderloin, brown rice and zucchini risotto, 2 sauces to go with all the meat, and Martin never even got around to grilling the sausages! It just kept coming. It was like a carnivore's wet dream. For dessert there were rice krispie treats, toll-house cookie bars, and candy. It was a feast of ridiculous proportions.

Then, this morning, they did it again! Eggs and bacon, toast, fruit, cucumbers and tomatoes. I am well and truly stuffed.

Also, well and truly stupid. I forgot the camera.

The cottage is out on the east coast of Sweden, a lovely green area called Österlen. Their wooded neighborhood is called Gyllebo, which seems to be a contraction of Gyllene Bo, which means golden nest. The wildflowers were out in full force, parading up and down the country roads, cheering on summer, a white-petaled ticker-tape parade. The Queen Anne's Lace, those white and wild party pads for the airborne crowd, were waving cheerily from the sidelines. Red-tailed hawks were gliding lazily above the fields, flashing their translucent triangular tails. The alpacas that graze the Gyllebo castle grounds were made much fun of, having recently been sheared, except for a curly mop of fluff on their heads, covering their eyes. They looked completely ridiculous, their long necks stretched to the ground, then coming up to stand and stare at us with their gigantic liquid brown eyes, peering out from the under the silly fluffball 'dos, their camel-y noses and lips turning in circles.

We walked from the cottage down to the lake, where everyone but Angie and I went swimming in the cold, cold water. In the shining sun, on the tiny sandy beach and under the trees, were a handful of families and a group of teens out having a grill party. After a dip, my Martin was shivering and turning blue, but happy as a clam digging in the sand, and splashing about with a swim ring. Angie's baby girl, a dead ringer for the Gerber Baby, refused to leave the water, standing next to her mother, waist-deep and butt-naked, her big blue eyes and rosy-cheeked smile the epitome of Happy.

3 long wooden floating piers bobbed gently in the water, one with a dive platform. It was like something out of a commercial for summer. I kept cocking my head, trying to hear the soundtrack, as it seemed we must be in a movie, but all we could hear was the summer soundtrack of splashing, children calling and laughing, a dog barking, birdsong. Later, amid much laughter and chat, sitting around a roaring fire on the patio, we heard an evening chorus of frogs, and the kamikaze whirring power buzz of these freakishly giant brown beetles as they divebombed the porch light. Anders said they were called broms beetles, but when I looked it up, broms turned out to be a kind of fly, and these were definitely beetles, as big as Junebugs but not nearly as pretty.

We 3 women had a very "American" moment before dinner, when we staged a get-away from husbands and kids, on the pretext of running to the store to pick up a couple of forgotten items (which, if I'd only known how much food there was already, I would have vetoed). In the tiny little grocery store, in the tiny little town of Gärsnäs, as we passed the snack aisle, my eye, long attuned to not looking after a year of not buying chips, suddenly registered that the stacked boxes of colorful bags on the endcap were DORITOS. We skidded to a halt and grabbed up the bags, as if tactile proof was required, exclaiming over the fact that there were DORITOS out here in the middle of Swedish nowhere. They were "Sweet Chili Flavor" but there was also a box of "Nacho Cheese" which Emily and Angie were thrilled to see. "Damn," said Emily, "No Cool Ranch." On a hunch, I pulled the other brand boxes away from the front of the bottom of the stack and lo and behold, TWO full boxes of the blue Doritos bags were revealed. We all three SQUEALED really loudly. Swedes turned their heads. A sort of disapproving, wondering hush filled the air. We burst into loud giggles, grabbed a couple of bags, and ran for the cashier.

As a crowning end to a lovely weekend, a few minutes ago I heard the roar of the Ducati motor from the garage, meaning that Anders has succeeded in putting the engine back together. As much as that motorcycle gets my goat, I'm glad, because it means I might FINALLY have a happy husband back again.

Summery Bursts of Birthday Wishes to darcymcgowan!
 relaxed
mood: relaxed
music: Squeeze—Sunday Street


Comments

Sounded like a very relaxing weekend :) though getting into the lake does sound cold brrrrrrr

You have to be brave to test swedish lake water. It makes my teeth hurt to just think about sticking my bare toe in. It sounds like you had lots of fun. Did you eat all of the Doritos?

nearly :D

ooooohhh, the gyllebo area is fantastic!!! i spent a lovely, lazy vacation week there one august - hiking, picking mushrooms, biking to the sea, and fishing in the gyllebo lake! (caught two small perches and they were very tasty!) :-) i lived on a quaint old farm near sträntemölla. it was pure heaven. walked out one morning and met the farmer coming down from the pasture with a newborn calf in a wheelbarrow...

yeah, i remember the lake water was cold, even in august. and it was a warm august... :-)

What a lovely weekend. Nature, fun, plenty of good food... I think you just entered my heaven!

wonderful! I LOVE the way you write too...makes me want to go to Gyllebo :)
I had a similar Dorito moment not long ago. Linus must have thought I was crazy as I was cluching the bag with wide eyes and kept saying 'it's doritos Linus, doritos!...and they have nacho cheese!'

(Anonymous)

Who needs photos when we've got your fabulously descriptive writing?! I completely understand your Doritos moment...having spent a bit of time yesterday afternoon with my behind parked in a chair, watching crappy reality TV while shoving guacamole Doritos into my piehole. (And I was in my sweats...and unshowered, too...what a pig.) :) Your cottage/beach getaway sounds like it was PERFECT. ~Marilyn

GUACAMOLE DORITOS??! Oh my god, those sound good. WHY, oh why, don't they import American chips over here regularly??! sigh

It's a strange state of affairs, when Sweden gets summer swimming weather before NH does. It is, of course, raining again today. :-P

But oh, the joy of forbidden Doritos! *g*

It sounds like you had a perfectly lovely time -- cheers! ;-)

Well, the last 2 days have been really cold, grey and rainy, so we have to enjoy them when we get them! :)

Liz it sounds like a perfect, idyllic weekend with family, good friends and good food. Lovely!

And wonderful news about the Ducati. I could see that it was close to Anders' heart :)

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